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Former NAHL coach Varady named assistant for NHL's Red Wings

July 18, 2022

Jay Varady helped guide the Pittsburgh Forge to a Robertson Cup Championship in 2002-03.

Detroit Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced that the team has hired former NAHL assistant coach Jay Varady as an assistant coach.

Varady, 44, has spent the last four seasons as a coach in the Arizona Coyotes organization, including three seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League's Tucson Roadrunners from 2018-20 and 2021-22. During his tenure with the Roadrunners, Varady compiled a 93-84-11-6 record and led the team to its first-ever Pacific Division title in 2019-20. He also served as head coach of the Pacific Division at the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic. Before returning for his second stint with the Roadrunners in 2021-22, Varady made his debut behind an NHL bench as an assistant coach for the Coyotes during the 2020-21 campaign, helping the team to a 24-26-6 record.

Prior to joining the Coyotes organization, Varady worked one season as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs in 2017-18, guiding the team to a 36-23-6-3 record and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. Varady arrived in Kingston after spending the previous four seasons as head coach and director of hockey operations for the United States Hockey League's Sioux City Musketeers from 2013-17, where he posted a 136-88-10-6 record. While with Sioux City, Varady was named the USHL's Coach of the Year in 2016-17 after the Musketeers clinched the Anderson Cup as regular-season champions with a 40-13-5-2 mark and reached the Clark Cup Final. In all, Varady led Sioux City to the postseason in three of his four seasons at the helm, earning two appearances in the Western Conference Finals and a pair of Western Conference regular-season titles.

A native of Cahokia, Ill., Varady made his head coaching debut with Ducs d'Angers in France's Ligue Magnus from 2011-13, finishing with a 37-10-3-2 record as the team won a regular-season title and reached the playoff final in 2012-13. He previously spent eight seasons with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, working as an assistant coach from 2003-07 before being elevated to associate head coach from 2007-11. 

Varady previously coached in the NAHL during the 2002-03 season, where he served as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Forge. The Forge had the NAHL’s top record that season at 43-9-4 and went onto win the 2003 Robertson Cup Championship.

He started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Union College for the 2000-01 season. On the international stage, Varady won a pair of gold medals coaching the United States at the 2014 and 2016 World Junior "A" Challenge. Varady also served as an assistant coach at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and won a gold medal as Team USA's video coach at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Sask.

Prior to beginning his coaching career, Varady recorded eight points (3-5-8) and 100 penalty minutes in 73 games at Union from 1997-00, serving as team captain during his junior campaign. Varady also played two seasons with the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints from 1995-97, logging 14 points (5-9-14) and 389 penalty minutes in 95 appearances.

 
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